Thursday, July 28, 2011

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

I feel so fortunate to be blessed with the most awesome mother-in-law ever!

A few days before the wedding, she drove 2 hours from New Jersey to spend some time with me.  We went out to lunch, and she presented me with some very special gifts!

On beautiful parchment paper, she had written a letter to me, explaining that--back when she and my mother were young brides--it was tradition that a bride would carry "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue" on her wedding day.  She went on to explain in her letter that the tradition has an English origin from the 16th century.

I didn't know this, but I learned from her that the "something old" is meant to remind the bride of her family and her life before marriage.  The "something new" acknowledges that she is starting a new life.  The "something borrowed" represents the support she receives from friends, and the "something blue" is to be a symbol of her fidelity and purity.  How beautiful!

Lastly, her letter explained, a penny ought to be in the bride's shoe for prosperity.  So, in a dainty little white satchel, she gave me a shiny 2011 penny!  How sweet!  Here's a picture of that penny in my wedding slipper, all set to go!

 On another piece of parchment, she listed all the "somethings" that I'd be carrying with me that day.  Are you curious as to what they are?  :)

My Something Old was a beautiful ring pillow which she HANDMADE from her own wedding gown!  Like me, she chose an ivory dress instead of a white one.  She chose fabric from her lace sleeve and also her train to make the pillow.  This gift is incredibly treasured by me and will definitely be a family heirloom to be passed down through the generations!  Mom told me that she was married on December 12, 1970 which I immediately recognized as a Marian Feast Day!  She was delighted to learn that she married on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!

But the beautiful ring pillow wasn't my only "something old."  She had also given me a beautiful handkerchief from Michael's beloved Aunt Martha!  Michael was especially touched to hear this!

Other old items I carried that day were the following: a locket containing a first class relic of my patron saint (St. Catherine Laboure), a second class relic of my beloved St. Philomena, a gold Miraculous Medal pin encircled with hearts (given to me by my new sister-in-law Cindy, who acquired it from her grandmother, saying she'd be giving it to me), and a pewter stone with the word "Faith" on it which I have carried in my purse on a daily basis for many years.

Here's a photo of these sentimental treasures I carried with me that day.  :)

My Something New was a beautiful silk bride's satchel which she sewed for me!  This would be the purse I would carry with me that day, holding all of these priceless treasures.  She even included a little pocket on the inside into which I could place my cell phone! 

Also new was the necklace I made and wore on the wedding day.  The pearl beads were made from a Rosary.  The Miraculous Medal pendant I had obtained when Michael and I visited the National Shrine Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC during the March for Life.  I had sewn a tiny brown wool Scapular for both the front and back of the necklace, and I also affixed a little cross to the back of the necklace.

My Something Borrowed, my mother-in-law wrote on the parchment, comes from my mother.  It is the ring given to her by my grandparents on her 21st birthday, and it has always been my favorite of my mother's rings.  It is a diamond encircled by rubies (my mother's birthstone), set in white gold.  I couldn't wait to wear it on my wedding day!

My Something Blue was several things!  A little baby blue ribbon was tied into a bow on my garter.  I also carried the blue plastic Miraculous Medal that was my Grandmother Pilley's back when she was a young woman.   But what I really wanted to have with me that day was the little blue and gold Miraculous Medal that my mother used to pin inside my shirt each time I would go on a field trip in elementary school (which always made me nervous). 

But, in the days prior to the wedding, we sadly couldn't find it.  Mom searched her jewelry box, and I searched mine.  Finally, she found an old blue one with gold stripes on it, which neither of us suspected was it, but which was as close as we could get to the memory.  It would have to suffice.

Unbeknown to either of us, God would see to it that I indeed carried the correct medal that day.  The Holy Spirit had prompted me to carry with me on the wedding day the little tan bag in which I used to carry my white Rosary back in elementary school.  I used to hook this little bag onto my school uniform suspenders so that I would have a Rosary with me at all times.  Only today, 12 days after our wedding, did I happen to notice that--at the bottom of this little bag--there was the little blue Miraculous Medal!  So, I had carried it with me on the wedding day and didn't even know it!  Praise God for being so clever!  What a delightful surprise!

So these are the special treasures I carried with me on my wedding day!  Thank you for letting me share!  If you are married, what did you carry with you on your wedding day?